Illustrated collage of various items from different cultures

Culture Collage


Culture Collage is an innovative, multi-dimensional intercultural learning program that will connect international students from Vancouver Island University with local children and allow them to share their story. Through hearing stories from international students and participating in various interactive activities (facilitated by VIU Post-Baccalaureate Bachelor of Education Students) the elementary students (and everyone else involved) will begin to grow intercultural awareness. The program is rooted in intercultural competence theory and is aiming to provide a learning opportunity for teachers and students alike. In addition, Culture Collage will help strengthen relationships within the community. 

Culture Collage Logo


Culture Collage has Three Goals

  1.  To build greater intercultural awareness in local elementary school students.
  2. To provide an opportunity for international students studying at VIU to build their skills and share their stories.
  3. To provide an opportunity for VIU students completing their final practicum in the Post-Baccalaureate Bachelor of Education Degree to facilitate a structured unit on intercultural learning.

Presentation Skills, Learning Cultures, September to December, Sharing Stories

The Schedule

  1. Introduction: Connecting Across Cultures
  2. Interactive Presentation by VIU International Students – Representing Country #1
  3. Interactive Presentation by VIU International Students – Representing Country #2
  4. Interactive Presentation by VIU International Students – Representing Country #3
  5. Interactive Presentation by VIU International Students – Representing Country #4
  6. Wrap-Up: Reflection and Evaluation

Connection to the Curriculum 

The Culture Collage learning objectives directly support the development of the three core competencies outlined in BC’s new curriculum:

C: CommunicationT: ThinkingPS: Personal & Social

Learning ObjectivesCompetencies

Curiosity, Discovery, &
Tolerating Ambiguity

T: Question & Investigate
PS: Relationships & Cultural Contexts

Respecting & Valuing Other Cultures

PS: Valuing Diversity
PS: Building Relationships

Openness & Withholding Judgment

C: Connect & Engage with Others
PS: Solving problems in Peaceful Ways

VIU International Students

Culture Collage is an innovative and educational volunteer opportunity that will connect international students from Vancouver Island University with local children and allow them to share their story. As a Culture Collage volunteer, they’ll receive 6 weeks of training that includes leadership development, presentation skills, and intercultural awareness. After completing the training, they’ll visit elementary schools around Nanaimo to introduce their own culture to children in grade 3 classes (three 1.5-hour class visits over a 4-week period). 

Promotional image titled "share your story" asking international students to apply for a volunteer position with Culture Collage.



Volunteer Schedule 

International Student volunteers are expected to be available for the following dates: 

Training DatesElementary School Class VisitsWrap-Up Evaluation
September 13Week of November 4–8December 13, 1pm–2pm
September 27Week of November 18–22 
October 4Week of November 25–29 
October 11Week of December 2–6 
October 18  
October 25  



For VIU students a self-paced online D2L course on Effective Intercultural Communication is being offered by Mackenzie Sillem. The course is free and offers recognition on your co-curricular record. Attached is an outline of the course. For more information email Mackenzie Sillem at

EIC Course Outline

Elementary Students
  • Interactive opportunity to learn about culture
  • Early introduction to post-secondary education opportunities
VIU International Students
  • Educational Volunteer Opportunity
  • Leadership Training
  • Presentation Skills
  • Intercultural Awareness
  • Student volunteers receive Co-Curricular Credit
  • Connect with the Community
Elementary School Teachers
  • Online and digital materials to facilitate additional sessions (pre- and post-workshops and reflections)
  • Content that compliments curriculum
  • Engaging and organized classroom visits
  • Stronger connection to VIU
VIU Faculty of International Education
  • Curriculum development
  • Brand recognition
  • Stronger connection to School Districts
  • Opportunity to broaden audience, recognition for work already being done

Photograph of Brochure titled "What is Culture Collage?" designed for elementary sponsor teachers.

Sponsor Teacher Information Brochure

Culture Collage Program Summary


OECD Transformative Competencies for 2030. To meet the challenges of the 21st century, students need to be empowered and feel that they can aspire to help shape a world where well-being and sustainability – for themselves, for others, and for the planet – are achievable. The OECD Learning Compass 2030 has identified three “transformative competencies” that students need in order to contribute to and thrive in our world, and shape a better future. Two of the three (reconciling tensions and dilemmas, and taking responsibility) are especially pertinent to intercultural learning.

OECD Transformative Competencies for 2030


Building Your Own Intercultural Competency

Here Comes Everyone: Teaching in the Intercultural Classroom. Developed by the Alberta Teachers’ Association, Here Comes Everyone is organized into six chapters representing the continuum from cultural perspective to intercultural understanding, from Anaïs Nin—“We don’t see things as they are—we see them as we are”—to Mahatma Gandhi—“We must become the change we want to see.” This is a good resource for teachers exploring their intercultural competency development.

Here Comes Everyone: Teaching in the Intercultural Classroom


Recommended Books & Activities

Children's Literature & Reading Special Interest Group. ​The Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group (ILA CL/R SIG) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the International Literacy Association (ILA) on November 7, 1979. Membership is open to all who have an abiding interest in the development of literacy and in promoting high-quality literature.

Children's Literature & Reading Special Interest Group


Notable Books for a Global Society. Annually, a committee of the CL/R SIG (Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group) of the International Literacy Association selects 25 outstanding trade books for enhancing student understanding of people and cultures throughout the world. The committee reviews books representing all genres intended for students K-12.

Notable Books for a Global Society


The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi. Recommended by the BC Teachers’ Foundation, this book including pre- and post-reading activities. The pre-reading activities found at this link would be excellent complementary activities and could be used without the book. 

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi


For more information please contact Ali White:

Ali White
Manager Int'l Education Contracts & Group Programs
International Education Office
Phone: (250) 740-6314, Local 6314